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July 21st, 2002

Car 54, Spam Patrol

I have less law enforcement mentality about me than almost anyone I know. I am frighteningly, extremely diligent in following laws and moral rules, but I tend to solve the problems at hand, rather than seeking out new life and new civilization to punish. In a sharp departure from my normal persona, though, I offer myself up to the Federal Trade Commission, my local states' attorney general (which, for odd reasons, I count as two states, located 1400 miles apart), any of a number of non-governmental organizations, and, to that Saint Bernadette (whoever she was, I seem to remember some movie where she has a cool song). I am willing to help, if anyone ever starts Spam Patrol.

I am a huge believer in free speech, and I am willing to tolerate even unsolicited commercial e mail. I know that even honest unsolicited e mail can be a huge toll on the internet. But I'm willing to let those traffic offenders off with a warning. I am willing to put up with the hassle of truthful, silly, unwanted e mail. I know that's a controversial position, but call me a liberal.

No, I'm talking about the people who send e mail to me on a daily basis, making fraudulent promises, committing securities fraud,
trying to trick me to websites where all my secrets will be uncovered. I'm talking about bunco.

I don't think that the chance will arise, and I don't think that the day will come, but if ever the chance arises and the day comes, count me in. Give me that silver badge with the little "cyber" designation on the star. Give me software which atomizes websites, and a team of trained monkeys who can track down even well-disguised Finnish 'net signatures. Let me be Banacek with a keyboard, Perry Mason for the prosecution. Give me my squad car and let me ride!

There's folks out there offering to elongate my anatomy, earn me 5,000 a week, pretend they met me in a chatroom and offer to give me instakisses all over my unsightly body, and induce me to invest in securities so bad they have to list on stock exchanges too poor to even print up trading sheets. They have got to be stopped. Call me the Rifleman. Call me Serpico. Call me Columbo. Call me the Angel of your choice, Charley's, Buffy's, you name it. Just call me.

Let us stop the spam, before it stops my net connection altogether.
None of us is safe, while all of us are spammed.